Celebrating “Foxy” Pam Grier! This Empowered Icon Was A “Black Mama” And “Coffy” Too!

Foxy_Brown blaxploitation classic

Celebrating “Foxy Brown”!

She’s much much more than just “the meanest chick in town” – Pam Grier is one of the most iconic – and empowered – Actresses in cult cinema!

My “2023 Sex Kitten Countdown” will be highlighting some of our greatest Cult Movie Queens of all time – and let’s face it, Pam Grier is the “Queen Of Them All!”

Pam Grier was born in Winston-Salem, NC, in 1949. She became part of one of the most under-rated film genres of all: “blaxploitation” – and has had an incredible board career.

In the course of that career, she has been a hero, a villain, a Gladiator and much much more…time to dive in and celebrate her empowered career!

The Rise Of Pam Grier!

Pam Grier got her start as a “party goer” in “Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls”, but soon after she broke out big in Director Jack Hill’s legendary slice of exploitation, “The Big Doll House!”

women in prison films

“They Caged Their Bodies – But Not Their Desires!”

Drive-in movie theaters were never the same after this: the arrival of a classic genre of exploitation film: the “women in prison” genre…and why were they so popular?


It sounds stupid now, but at the time, this was revelatory – movies that highlighted women in prison, forced to shower over and over and over again…

These were classic exploitation films that played every drive-in in America – sexy, crude “women in prison” films – a popular genre that made tons of money at a time when exploitation was getting more daring…and Pam Grier stuck out and made a big impression on the crowd!

Pam will end up in the show many more times in her career – Check out the trailer for this drive-in gem – just click through to get to it:

“The Big Bird Cage” arrived the following year – yes, a formula was invented that made the 70’s one of the most entertaining decades for cult cinema ever!

Here is the classic trailer:

Grier seems to be having a blast starring with the legendary character Actor Sid Haig as thieving mercenaries who engineer a prison break from the outside.

This sweltering mix of hot young women – angry, violent and mostly naked – in prison was very popular at the time, and one of the best is Pam’s classic “Black Mama White Mama”!

Black Mama White Mama

That’s right, in this film she was chained to Margaret Markov – a nice female driven update of the film “The Defiant Ones!”

Don’t worry, they still have plenty of shower scenes as well!

The duo went on to star in the film “The Arena”, and don’t worry, there was plenty of nudity in that one as well!

This time she showered with Actress Margaret Markov – who had a nice run of cult films as well:

You can see more about their films together by clicking on my story here:

Grier used her popularity to star in one of the first empowered female “blaxploitation” films of the era, called “Coffy”….


This is the one that cemented Pam as the new “Queen Of Blaxploitation!”

She plays a Nurse who takes vigilante justice against inner-city drug dealers after her sister becomes their latest victim.

Check out the trailer:

This low budget, violent action film was such a success that a sequel was inevitable. According to director Jack Hill – yes, the genius behind “Big Doll House”, “Foxy Brown” was originally intended to be a sequel to his “Coffy”, and in fact the working title of the film was “Burn, Coffy, Burn!”

women in prison films

However, American-International Pictures decided at the last minute it didn’t want to do a sequel, even though “Coffy” was a huge hit. So a new action star was created, “Foxy Brown!” Pam Grier’s rise to stardom was confirmed, as “Foxy Brown” was a big hit!

pam-grier is foxy brown

Michael Anderson: I don’t know… vigilante justice?
Foxy Brown: It’s as American as apple pie. 

Pam was in the right place at the right time – and she became the most empowered female action star of the 70’s…

classic blaxploitation foxy brown

Pam Grier IS “Foxy Brown!”

In the 70’s, blaxploitation films were the rage, with such classics as “Shaft”, “The Mack” and “Cotton Comes To Harlem” leading the way…so Producers were smart enough to give an empowered woman a chance to kick some ass as well…


“Foxy Brown” had attitude, confidence, and street smarts – and she could kick ass when she needed to as well – as “Bobbi” is about to find out!

Bobbie: Listen skinny, before you start talking tough, I’d better warn you I’ve got a black belt in karate. So why don’t you get out of here quietly, while you still got some teeth left in that ugly face?

[Foxy knocks her down with a barstool]

Foxy Brown: And I’ve got MY black belt in barstools! 

Pam Grier is Foxy Brown

Here’s The “Foxy Brown” Classic Blaxploitation Trailer!

Check out this trailer – the narration is hilarious in a 70’s way, but she does kick ass, so there’s that!


Here’s the very succinct – and very descriptive – description of “Foxy Brown” on IMDB: “A voluptuous black woman takes a job as a high-class prostitute in order to get revenge on the mobsters who murdered her boyfriend.” 

“Voluptuous” Indeed!

There was another extremely popular Actress who had a small role in the film:

Sharon Kelly had a great run of cult films in the 70’s before going into more hardcore fare as Colleen Brennan in the 80’s – see much more of her wild career here:

As for Pam, she had a great run of films throughout the decade, most of which are still available on Dvd or streaming:

This iconic Actress has more than 100 screen credits!

During the 1980s she was a regular on “Miami Vice” (1984) and was also Steven Seagal’s partner in “Above the Law”. 

She starred in “Jackie Brown” in 1997, directed by Quentin Tarantino in an homage to her earlier 1970s action roles.

pam grier as jackie brown

One interesting aspect of Grier’s career is how little she exploited it…according to this 2006 interview in the “Atlanta Journal-Constitution”:

“I can’t talk about myself. I just can’t. I know I’ve influenced people, and I’m proud of that. But as I see it, I really haven’t done anything. I haven’t saved anybody from a burning building. Foxy Brown actually approached me at the start of her career to ask if she could use the name. I told her, “You didn’t need to ask”. If you’re an independent woman, every woman is Foxy Brown.”

Pam Grier is an Icon, and was at the forefront of one of the best genre of 70’s film ever:

Yes, the “women in prison” genre was something else – and you can see some of the wildest examples here:

Cult Actress Laura Gemser starred in a few of those films as well as many other cult gems:

The Actress had a few shockers as well…see all of her wildest films here:

If you like these stories, and want to see all of my “2023 Sex Kitten Countdown”, then sign up!

Click here to see the trailer and more!

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Let me know your favorite Pam Grier films!

Categories: 70's Films, Camp Cult Classics, Classic Action Films, Cult Classics, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, Grindhouse, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites

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7 replies

  1. Also great in Class Of 1999 and Original Ganstas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Pam and her sexy curves and by the looks of things, she is still adorable yet today.


  3. Pam was always great to watch. Then she gave the performance of a lifetime in ‘Jackie Brown’, my favourite Tarantino film.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great TCM podcast about Pam’s career. A real country girl who knew what she was doing with her career.

    Liked by 1 person

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